New elections in Macedonia will obstruct the path to the start of EU negotiations, EU Commissioner for Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn told the Austrian daily newspaper “Kurier”, saying he advised the Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev not to call snap parliamentary elections but to form a two-thirds majority in the Assembly that would support the Agreement with Greece.

“New elections will obstruct the road to the start of negotiations with the EU. The opposition contributed to the low turnout through the boycott. Saying that the referendum was unsuccessful is far from true. It is unusual for a referendum to get support from 94% of voters, but only 37% took part – because the opposition was apparently successful in the boycott. In parliament, a two-thirds majority can be secured. The government needs 8 or 9 votes from the opposition and this must be feasible. Everyone says they want to be part of the EU and NATO, as well as the opposition, so therefore the price must be paid with this agreement,” says Hahn.

Answering a journalist’s question on how to reach the required majority in Parliament, Hahn replied “with a combination of the Balkans and rationality”.